Dyldam Parramatta Eels club legend Luke Burt has been appointed head coach of the Eels’ Holden Cup team ahead of the 2016 season and having been in charge the past few weeks, Burt is excited about the year ahead with a clear focus in mind; turning his players into first graders.
“It’s super exciting. I have been lucky enough to have been here for a few years in a coaching role development wise, but to now be a head coach I am really excited about it.” Burt said.
“The boys have been training hard. Their commitment is second to none, they have trained very hard and I can’t ask for any more effort out of the boys but there is a bit of fine-tuning to do and a bit of coaching to go.”
“Our main focus, I have told the boys and my assistants, is that we are there to create first graders so we can move them on to the NRL guys and create NRL players for Brad and his staff,” Burt added.
“That’s our main focus and we are there improving every individual as good as we can and hopefully win a few games along the way.”
The former Parramatta Eels winger steps into the role of Holden Cup Head Coach for 2016 after two years working as a specialist outside backs coach for the NRL squad.
“I have said it to a few people that if I knew now what I knew what I was playing I probably would have been a lot better footballer but the last two to three years have been really good,” Burt said.
“I have been working under Brad and the two assistant coaches in Steve Murphy and Pete Gentle and I have learnt a lot off them in a few different ways to go about your coaching and how to deal with players,” Burt added.
“I am super excited to put my own spin on it as well but also use what I have learnt from them.”
Burt played 264 NRL games for the Blue and Gold, and holds the record of most tries scored for the club, 124 in total however in the latter stages of his career, he realised he wanted to head down the coaching path with the Parramatta Eels.
“Late in my career, it was something that I realised I wanted to do. All I have done is football since quite a young age and it’s great to be able to stay involved with the Parramatta club in a coaching capacity.”
“I always enjoyed it as a player, helping other players, so I am really excited about doing it and it was something I always had plans for after football.”
Burt continues to work closely with NRL Head Coach Brad Arthur, ensuring that he and his team implement the structures and coaching processes put in place in the NRL side into the NYC system.
“Whatever Brad and the two assistants here are doing I am trying to take them into the twenties, just in case they feel the need to pull one of the players up, they can slot straight in and there are no dramas there,” Burt said.
“We try and use very much the same plays and training regime as the NRL guys do.”
“I have two great assistants, Dean Feeney and Steven Hales who are really great. There is really great support staff including Nathan Beutel, Head of Strength and Conditioning NYC and we are very lucky to have that sort of quality on our staff.”